Zeitgeist –

Zeitgeist –

There are so many ways to look at this. To a certain point, you want to fit into the current spirit of your culture, your social group and family. Don’t you? Certainly when you’re a kid and reliant on their good will to survive. But isn’t there a point when you want to/need to individuate?
Just not too much, I guess or you get labelled as odd, eccentric and too much of that gets you called names doctors give you. Which can get you put in a jail or mental health famility.

But then we need people who are different at some level in the arts, sports…. to be that OTT one who shines and does something unique. Something exciting, brilliant.

So when is it crazy, odd, or something that flairs so we keep changing the game posts of entertainment and innovation? ummmm….

Changing the World – What Can John Smith and Jane Doe (You) Do to Make Things Better?

Changing the World – What Can John Smith and Jane Doe (You) Do to Make Things Better?

So many people figure the world is something they have no impact on. It’s too big for one person to change, to improve. But if you consider what you think your world and the world you want for your kids to have, what do you see? And what do you want to be?

And at a time when things are pretty dire and even the leaders of the world are fumbling and going nuts, what can little you do?

It may not be the big picture you can change, but thinking about what is important to you can lead to you at least casting a more informed vote. While it’s true that nothing you do may be relevant to the big parties and their frontmen, it maybe true that you (pl) with your friends, family, co-workers and even neighbourhood can make your voice heard.

So once you’ve found your ideals, you can spread your mssg to the people around you and discuss them. You can hop on social media and get involved in the discussions. Follow the party that most fits your ideals and find out what they’re talking about. Follow nat’l media and independents and see what the topic of the day is. Follow big schools and see what they’re posting about.

Post, repost, and then bring them to your dinner table discussions with family and friends, and your coffee break with colleagues. Back and forth.

The word will spread and it’s possible you will become influential in those chats.

Today looks dismal due to the pandemic, the climate, unemployment, fascism seems to be on the rise again, so many deaths and mourning.

And maybe at this time, since you’re on the internet, you can look up some course you’ve always wanted to take about these things and learn more about what you can do to influence the systems. That’s what I’ve been doing for the past few months. I’ve improved my skills in things studied previously that are relevant now, learned new aspects of old loves and new things I couldn’t get to before that I always wanted to learn. Like anthropology courses. I just couldn’t seem to fit them into my course load before for some reason. But maybe the universe was saying I need this info now. I’m ready to hear it now. So now it’s available.

There are courses online now that are free or low fee at some of the best schools in the world. And I love that sooooo much! In the past few months, I’ve been to the Hague, Harvard, Yale, Stanford,… so cool! Don’t worry, they have intro level courses. You don’t need a PHD or MD to get what they teach. Or if you have those levels of education, they have them too.

And all these things give you access to the people who CAN influence the world leaders. See? Maybe you can bend their ear a little! And on social media? They count your loves and your followers to see how important your voice is there. Right?

Square Peg – Round Hole

Square Peg – Round Hole

If I were to meet your …..brother, sister, father, mother….. how much like them are you?
How about your S.O.? Are you a lot like them?
What about your besties? Are you peas in a pod, or leaves from different trees? Things in common but things different too?

Why do we expect or even want people to be like us? Or us like them?
Isn’t the world more interesting when we meet people who are different, so we can listen to a different story, hear a new joke or song? Is that a new prayer you’re chanting, and what is it about?

At what point does it stop though?

I’m a people-curious person. Always wanting to learn about others, excited by novelty. But there are certainly things that turn me off. As I’m sure there are with you as well.

But we have to try to blend with the people, the group around us. To the point of marching lockstep though? Where is that line?

I think it’s a daily struggle, which may be why I have social anxiety and am shy. It’s hard to navigate the world when I think everyone wants a clone of them.

Or do they? Have I finally gotten past high school? Can we truly be ourselves, and is that really ok?

Maybe this is just my headspace everyday? (shrug)

Prediction – You May Have Heard of the Doomsday Clock….

Prediction – You May Have Heard of the Doomsday Clock….

Since 1947. the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists
grist
have been looking at specific factors to see where we as a human race, as a planet stand in terms of our risk of ending our own existance.

2020 & 2021 have put the clock at it’s worst ever predicition of 100 seconds to midnight.

……

What factors do these people consider in their predictions?

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists decide what Midnight and “global catastrophe” really mean in a particular year. They might include “politics, energy, weapons, diplomacy, and climate science”; potential sources of threat include nuclear threats, climate change, bioterrorism, and artificial intelligence.

nuclear risk

  • climate change – carbon, fossil fuels, greenhouse gases
  • new developments in the life sciences and technology – “disruptive technologies” such as synthetic biology, artificial intelligence, and cyberwarfare
  • dangerous rivalry and hostility among the superpowers – failure to cooperate for the good of the planet
  • tolerated disinformation on MSM and social media
    wiki

……

What can we do? –
It’s not all up to the govts and world leaders.

  • If there is something on that list that you care about and know data about, do you share that on your platforms?
  • Do you contact your members of whatever local and federal levels of govt and ask them what they are doing to reduce these risks?
  • Do you sign petitions relevant to the risks you believe are serious?
  • Do you keep informed on hostilities and conflict so that you can speak about them on your platforms and let your POV be known to your leaders?

…….

Global organizations are attempting to work with the nations to reduce hostility and reduce the number of nuclear weapons…..
nuclear – un
int’l red cross and red crescent movement
anti-nuclear – wiki list ……and could use whatever spare dollars you have.

…….

Global organizations are looking for ways to help our planet.
climate change – un
ipcc
epa
climate change – global wiki list

……..

Global agencies are monitoring the ethical growth of science and technology.
ISC
list science and tech watchdog groups – nap. edu

……

Global human relations and rights

……

I know, it’s hard to think in macro terms these days when remembering to:

  • grab your keys and mask before you go out the door,
  • watching to see what your area’s public health covid threat level is,
  • keeping food and water on your table,
  • and a roof over your head is stressing you out.

But without the larger picture, there is no us. And the clock is now at the worst post since it began. And it’s not JUST about this pandemic. Think about that for a second.

At an Older Altar (a story)

At an Older Altar

He set up his altar. Candles, tapers, wine, loaf, herbs, prayer book, and kneeling pad. Then he stripped himself to his waist and knelt before the altar, chanting to get himself into the right frame of mind, ready for prayer and meditation. And maybe more. He was hoping today would bring more than fevers and blessings. He wanted a vision and was readying himself for that.
So he pulled out his fave whip and made sure it was in it’s best supple state. It was a better hurt then.

At first it did hurt. Just hurt. But then he got into the groove and the right mindset. And the pain became more than the lashes on his back. It became an energy that was no longer on his body. But in his mind.

It grew in brightness. He was one with the pain. And he could hear the whispers that he sought. At first they were harder to understand. But with a firmer hand on the whip, he finally understood what they were saying. And relaxed into their message.

He began to sing in praise of the divine, until the divine began to sing thru him and his words were no longer his own. His witness wrote down what he sang. So the old ones could spread their message on earth.

…….

self flagellation, old believers

At the Cauldron (a story/ish)

At the Cauldron

Stirring stirring she was stirring. And listening to the voices gathering to listen for their names in her incantations. Seeing what she wanted by whom she called. Little smiles of understanding here and there in the midst of shifting impatience and confusion. Most expecting some question that only a demon would know. Something that would happen in the next day or two. Yet the time grew as the question became deeper. And the lesser demons fell away, going off to answer questions they could, rather than listening for the story or the lesson from the older demons. Even the lesser angels fell away and the human guides. Well they did have other things to do. It wasn’t just boredom.

The question was deeper than any this witch had asked before. And only the demons who were fallen angels were left in the room. They knew the older wisdom as well as their angelic brothers and sisters did. And contrary to the lore, they had not forgotten it.

Which was much as the witch had expected. And what she was counting on. Because she had worried that the angels might not be willing to share. But the old demons might, if only to cause trouble. Though they did like sharing knowledge and their lesser demons often weren’t interested in the old wisdom. They just wanted to prank the humans and angels. Not that that wasn’t fun….

Both angels and demons agreed….This witch was stronger than they’d known before. One to watch from now on.

The Truth-Sayer (a story/ish)

The Truth-Sayer

One day a year, the old man walked down the path from his cave and set up a tent at the bottom of the mountain so the villagers could ask him any question they wished to. It never took long for the crowd to form. He sighed, but he knew it was the price he paid for being left alone the rest of the year. So he centered himself and went to work.

What were the typical questions they asked?:

…..

I have a love, one I adore so well. But when I ask my love if they are true to me, my heart says they lie when they say yes.

Sadly the old man said, ‘Everybody lies’.

…….

My parents are so tender and so kind. They tell me I can be anything I wish to be. Is this true? Is my future bright?

Sadly the old man said, ‘Everybody lies’.

…..

My boss says he values my effort and enjoys my company. And is quite sure he could never replace me. But has no more money to feed my family. Is this true?

Sadly the old man said, ‘Everybody lies’.

…….

The head man of the village has come to us to say he needs more money to build homes and fight the good fight that protects us from famine, pestulance and war. He says he’s tried everything he can to reduce our taxes, but this year he needs more. Is that true?

Sadly the old man said, ‘Everybody lies’.

……

My child has told me he is innocent of all those who care for him have claimed he has done. Yet I see a gleam in his eye when they list his bad deeds. Is he telling the truth or are they?

Sadly the old man said, ‘Everybody lies’.

…….

The villagers went back to their homes, feeling a bit diminished in his wisdom and zeal. They looked at the villagers with a jaundiced eye from that day on.

And the old man went back up the mountain to his cave. To greet his son who asked about his day, knowing full well what the answer would be, since it was all his father was able to say since the stroke:

Sadly the old man said, ‘Everybody lies’.

His son might be accused of deception by the villagers, but whether by delusion or truth, his father wasn’t wrong. At some point in their life, everybody lies. You just need to know the reason, and determine if you can live with it.

Prediction: Ways People React

Prediction: Ways People React

The alarmist :
chicken little

The worker bee :
little red hen

time to work, time to play
grasshopper and the ant

be careful who you trust
snake and foolish frogs

Given the exact same situation – living your life and meeting those needs – you’d think there was only one way to deal with it. Yet obv that just isn’t so. So how do you predict which way someone will act? Unless you know them really well? But is that always a sure bet? Prob not!

The First Stage of Prediction – Learning

The First Stage of Prediction – Learning

When a child learns something new and newish, they look around and ask questions. The answers and the words used are simple answers to what may not always be simple.

For example, if they look at a dog, what do they see? Why is it a dog? Why is it called a dog?

A few of those answers might be:

  • A dog barks (so does a seal, but would a young child see a seal?)
  • A dog growls (so does a bear, but would they see one?)
  • A dog eats meat (a dog will eat a lot of what you put in front of it. It’s omnivorous – within reason, it is a dog

Anything else is pretty much breed defined:

  • Is it big or small?
  • Furry or bald?
  • What colour is a dog’s fur?

Learning is basic and experiential, and the person who answers the questions is limiting answers based on what they think the child needs to know and what will quickly explain it. And what will protect the child.

Will a dog hurt me? That depends:

  • How is the dog controlled?
  • How is the child treating the dog?

And from this the child develops their schema for what a dog is. And adds new info as they run into dogs. That look like big rats, hairy donkeys and bears. That are timid, frightened creatures or really aggressive, terrifying creatures.

And they learn how to predict the dog’s behaviour. How to trust the dog.

…….

And most of these rules and methods also are applicable to teaching a computer what something new is to them. You supply info they need to understand what the new thing is in terms they can understand.

…..

First comes understanding then comes prediction. To what degree though? Do they want to record, define, understand, forecast it’s behaviour, or control the new thing?

And was the info accurate. Garbage in, garbage out.

But for either child or computer, the info is basic and repetitive till they build enough schema to start creating for themselves. A child will, but will a computer?

Prediction and Laplace’s Demon

Prediction and Laplace’s Demon

Living and thinking in terms of rules, laws and determinism can certainly make life easier to understand IF you know everything there is to know. You can explain away the universe then, right? And even how it moves. Mostly by how it has always been known to move. Again IF you know all the rules.

…….

Classical mechanics or Newtonian mechanics –
reformulations of known as Lagrangian mechanics and Hamiltonian mechanics. with analytical mechanics
and quantum mechanics.
And their equations of what force equals.

…….

But it doesn’t explain everything. Because even the stars evolve.

And you can find yourself getting caught up in errors and chains of errors because you presume that since it usually happens that way, it always will. Or it always has to be..

….

Laplace’s demon was the first published articulation of causal or scientific determinism, by Pierre-Simon Laplace in 1814.

……

But while it’s true that the universe, the earth and all it’s species (including humanity) have cycles they (we) walk thru over and over, that doesn’t mean that there are no possible changes.

In the universe, a comet might collide with a star and take out half a galaxy. On earth, a snow storm might cause Texas’ infrastructure to go nuts for a few days. Or a hurricane might take down Puerto Rico’s for a couple years. Or humanity might go from feudalism to corporatocracy or socialism.

And if we’re stuck in how we look at these things and live in the one that no longer is instead of our current iteration, we won’t and can’t catch on to the new rules and way of living.

Some people do find this harder to do than others, don’t we? We still have artisans and farmers who won’t ever be part of the global economy. We have technophobes who think the govt is surveilling us (and they aren’t completely wrong 😋) thru our tech. And we have people who truly believe that anyone can get rich and live the dream of being a trillionaire. That we all have an equal shot at that. These people will never grasp the rules by which our current iteration of the world of money and politics work, let alone predict it.

Not that the best economists or politicians get it right either.

So are there fatalistic elements we can track? Well yes and no. Yes, we as humans do certain things we have no way of changing atm. We are reliant on air (more oxygen req’d than anything else) , water, food, our skin burns if it’s too hot, and we get hypothermia if it’s too cold. And we walk upright, and need sleep. Or we literally die. If a man and a woman who are fertile have sex, they may get pregnant. If you stay at that level, knowing what we know now, those are safe predictions.

Yet there are aspects of things that we cannot predict as well. Like it’s safe to say that if we work together and take care of each other, we should get along. We have similar needs and similar desires and fears. But humanity isn’t exactly known for that, are we? We like our conflicts too much. To the point where there is a global industry just for war.

We know so much it is catalogued in many libraries. And we know so little, the libraries of that data and theories would fill many more. We have biases, and we think we know more than we do. And when we bump up against our ignorance or fear, we rarely throw out our scripts.

So how do we think we can safely and truthfully predict? Today, any better than in the days when our ancestors cut open a sheep and ‘read’ the entrails? Cuzz we have a lot of hubris?

Good question? What do you think?